Hey Everyone! Let's talk breastfeeding this week! The body is just incredible. Every single day I am constantly amazed and in awe of the capabilities of the body. This week while researching this newest blog topic, it wasn't surprising that studies are constantly being conducted on the body's ability to not only heal itself, but it is also able to provide the best inborn medicine against fighting illness.
Lets talk about breast milk. I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization says that a woman should breastfeed or formula feed for a minimum of two years. Exclusively breastfeeding/ formula feeding for 6 months before introducing solids. Its crazy that in America, an average of only 32% of American women breastfeed beyond 3 months. Listen, life is hard. Sometimes, things don't come easy. Women have to work. NO JUDGEMENT HERE! All parents are doing their best. JUST LOVE YOUR CHILDREN! My goal in writing this blog post is to educate, not to shame. With that being said, lets talk about some exciting science!
Vanderbilt University recently published an exciting study about the non-toxic antibacterial properties in the sugar molecules (carbohydrates) in breast milk. In the past, most research has been done on the proteins in breast milk which are far easier to study as well as much more researched. So this study is pretty revolutionary because we are learning more about the different molecules in breast milk. The study started because the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance that is happening all over the world. Researches decided to start by studying pregnant women because they often tend to be a natural host for the bacteria Group B. Strep (Streptococcus). They questioned that if because pregnant women were often natural carriers (30% of women) would these women's breast milk contain inborn and innate antibacterial properties to fight off this bacteria?? WELL...the body is so stinkin awesome because it did!! They found that the sugars/ carbs (not just the proteins) in breast milk contained NON-TOXIC antibacterial properties that enhanced the efficacy of the antibacterial proteins in the breast milk. Not only did the milk carbohydrates/ sugars attack and KILL the bacteria directly, but also attacked the biofilm that is used by bacteria to protect themselves (and is often not able to be killed by antibiotics). One of the scientists said, "our results show that sugars [in the breast milk] have a one-two punch. First they sensitize the target bacteria and then they kill them. Biologists sometimes call this 'synthetic lethality' and there is a major push to develop new antimicrobial drugs with this capability."
This is such a groundbreaking study because it shows that the body is just incredibly adaptable and responsive to invaders! It also shows that scientists are suggesting that pharmaceuticals should be modeled after the body's natural and inborn immune system,
***In no way is the blog post or article suggesting that one should replace antibiotics or ignore the advice of their medical providers. We are not giving medical advice or advocating for a non pharmaceutical approach when addressing Group B. Strep in mothers or infants.
What...are we in junior high? I did just say PHAT. Bringing it back old school people! But lets cut to the chase. We live in a society that is constantly telling you what is bad for you. Fad diets full of fake sugars, non fat, cholesterol free, gluten free...essentially, everything is bad for you. HOLD UP...I am about to blow you away with some awesome facts...ready??? GOOD FATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU. WOMEN...DID YOU HEAR ME? Fats are essential in maintaining a healthy central nervous system. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to do the following:
-Decrease asthma in children by 7% with the mothers that took a fish oil the last 3 months of pregnancy.
-Help regulate your bowel movements
-Great for you skin
-Increase memory in studies done on alzheimer's patients
-Help you lose weight
-Help regulate blood sugar
-And are essential brain development for babies in utero
-Help regulate hormones
-Help regulate your mood
-Help balance your cholesterols
-Decrease joint pain
If you relate it to pregnancy, it is suggested that women that women take 200 mcg daily in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is when the baby's brain is developing at such a rapid rate. Studies show that nearly 70% of women are not taking enough fish oil in their pregnancy! ALL my pregnant/prenatal patients at my practice (Uprise Chiropractic) are always encouraged to take a quality prenatal and a quality high DHA fish oil.
Moral of the story...EAT YOUR GOOD FATS! You can take a high quality fish oil (I recommend Douglas labs Opti-DHA). You can also eat the following foods to get your good fats in. Fish is really the highest source of Omega 3's.
-Mackerel, sardines, salmon, blue cod, hoki, john dory, monkfish, anchovies, and flounder.
Until next time,
Well, you can say I have been on a bit of a health kick lately. Really, a lets get healthy with your diet and exercise kick. I know, I know. What does this pregnancy/ pediatric chiropractor in Dallas know about a healthy diet and its connection with the gut? Well, I am a reformed fat girl. Food and I have an intimate love hate relationship filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows. I learned later in life that food is an emotional relationship but also a relationship that is created to make your body THRIVE. You can feed disease or fight it with the decisions you make on the daily. You can give your body life and longevity, or eat your way to the grave. That got really dark, really fast...but you get my point. I am about to lay down some truth bombs on how food can help you emotionally and physically (in more ways than just fighting cancer).
What is this craze with "prebiotics" and "probiotics"? Prebiotics are what the probiotics (gut bacteria in your body) feed on. Probiotics are the gut bacteria the reside in your gut and aid in a healthy digestive environment. They are both super important. Probiotics have been linked to modulating anxiety and depression in people which is why your diet and mental health are so integrally connected. Its called the enteric (gut) and the CNS (central nervous system/ brain) connection. Recent studies in rats are showing that prebiotic intake reduces the walking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy specimens. In other words, prebiotics can help you physically and emotionally deal with stress better and has been shown scientifically to do so by decreasing cortisol levels when presented with an emotionally taxing situation. Cortisol is the "stress" hormone that is released when our body and mind undergo situations that we need to "fight or flight" through. Such as, running from a bear! Paying our bills! Dealing with a two year old! Fighting with a friend! Dealing with your husband! Finishing a work assignment on time! What does all this mean to you? It means, what you feed your body/gut can greatly impact your emotional state whether we are dealing with depression or anxiety or wanting to aid your body in dealing with the stressful situations of life. Prebiotics can be purchased at your local grocery store or you can get it from foods like garlic, raw leeks, onions, raw asparagus, baked wheat flour, and bananas. Check out last weeks blog to see what food options have probiotics!
Moral of the story, you are what you eat....emotionally and physically.
Until next time-
Listen, I love me some eggs. I am always encouraging my pregnant patients that come to me for prenatal chiropractic care, to have a balanced diet full of good healthy fats, protein, and veggies. Eggs are a wonderful source of good fats, good cholesterol’s, great protein, and CHOLINE. Choline is a macronutrient that’s important for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, supporting energy levels and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Why do you need choline during your pregnancy? Choline is an important nutrient that helps your baby's brain and spinal cord develop properly. Some studies suggest it may also protect a newborn against neural tube defects (much like folate does). New research has shown that pregnant women that were given twice the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for choline (930 mg/day) during their third trimester, had children with cognitive benefits including faster information processing speeds. That’s pretty awesome! Who doesn’t want a smarter kid... except when they start to argue with you! Just kidding!! Check out the link below for the full article and research relating to this blog post! Thanks for tuning in!
Everyone who has had a baby fears colic. You hear horror stories about sleep deprived parents staying up at night with an inconsolable baby and feeling defeated with no answers or relief. Trying everything from car rides, specific sleep schedules, medications, feeding positions, only surrendering to the situation and feeling helpless and HOPELESS. Well, there is a silver lining here folks. Research has indicated that nursing mothers that supplement with a specific strand of probiotic Lactobacillus reuteriis for 3 weeks were twice as likely as a placebo to reduce crying by 50% in colicky babies who are exclusively breastfed. This is a great beginning to continued and much needed research in this area of health and how gut bacteria can significantly impact mom and baby's quality of life.
It is important to understand that the Lactobacillus bacterium has many different strands and that this specific strand (reuteriis) was the one that was shown to make a difference in colicky babies. This is a friendly bacteria that is found in the human digestive tract. You can find this strand in the following foods: Yogurt (far more than other sources), Sauerkraut (fermented), Kefir, Kombucha, Pickles (fermented), Apple Cider Vinegar, Kimchi, and Miso Soup. For those of you who would rather take a supplement or capsule for your probiotic intake, you may have a more difficult time finding this specific strand of bacterium in many probiotic supplements sold in stores. I looked high and low at the probiotics carried at Wholefoods, Target, and multiple pharmacies with no avail. Natures Way brand makes multiple products that have Lactobacillus reuterriis. Please see the link below for the full article and research.
Until next time,
Dr. Bree Katz is a graduate from Parker University with a Doctorate of Chiropractic and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Health and Wellness. She is a local Family Chiropractor at Uprise Chiropractic in Dallas with an emphasis on pregnancy and children.